200,000 notified of missing tape containing personal information

October 23, 2007

Associated Press


West Virginia officials are alerting 200,000 past and current members of three health insurance programs that a computer tape containing some personal information is missing.

The tape, containing such information as names, addresses and Social Security numbers, slipped out of a package shipped Oct. 12 by the state Public Employees Insurance Agency to a Pennsylvania analyst it uses.

The information comes from PEIA as well as the Children's Health Insurance Program and the AccessWV high risk insurance pool.

Officials believe the package came unglued in transit, and do not suspect theft, Department of Administration Spokeswoman Diane Holley said.

The third-party shipper reported it missing Oct. 16. After an exhaustive weekend search failed to yield the tape, PEIA began mailing the alerts.

Officials advise enrollees to check their credit reports and request fraud alerts. Both are free services from any of the three main credit reporting agencies.

Holley said the tape cannot be read by standard computer equipment, and does not contain medical or prescription claims information. Accessing the data would require specialized data processing equipment loaded with appropriate software and highly knowledgeable individuals.

Starting 8 a.m. Wednesday, those affected can call a toll-free hotline with additional questions, Holley said.

main page ATTRITION feedback